For the past month, reports have been circulating in the media that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is creating a task force and undertaking an AI and blockchain research project. The news first circulated in the Economic Times, a prestigious newspaper. The article cited “two people familiar with the matter.” However, it appears that the RBI is not creating any blockchain research unit.
No blockchain research was undertaken by RBI
On August 27th, the Economic Times published the following –
“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a new unit within the central bank to beef up its own intellectual capital in the face of emerging technologies like cryptocurrency, blockchain, and artificial intelligence…The unit is just about a month old as of now, and though a chief general manager is identified to lead it, a formal announcement internally has not been made yet.”
Despite the report by the Economic Times, the RBI never made an official announcement. The news circulated on multiple media outlets with the belief that the central bank might rethink its harsh stance on cryptocurrency. But as it turns out, the Reserve Bank of India does not appear to be doing any research into cryptocurrency or blockchain and has not created any cryptocurrency unit. On September 26th, Coin Crunch India reported that the RBI did not create any such unit. The RBI statement was a response to a Right to Information Request (RTI) filed by the author of the Coin Crunch article. The response to the request was that –
“There is no new unit created formally in RBI for the purpose mentioned in RTI query. Therefore there is no information to furnish in the matter.”
Blockchain and cryptocurrency in India
The Indian Supreme Court is currently considering the petitions against the ban on cryptocurrencies by the RBI. The case was supposed to be finalized on September 25th but is being continually delayed. Many are arguing that the central bank did not have the authority to compel commercial banks to stop doing business with blockchain companies. The central bank also openly admitted that it had completed no research before it initiated the ban. This admission was also given following an RTI request.
There is much controversy surrounding the ban, and it crippled the blockchain economy in India, with a mass exodus. India is also known for being a cash-hostile region. While other third world regions are leveraging blockchain technology to bring them closer to their Western counterparts, India has once again opted to voluntarily stunt its own growth with a very illogical ban on cryptocurrencies.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.